Strange Encounter

 

We were spending quality time over toast and coffee catching up.  It was such a great breakfast that we just let time pass us by.   Mad and I are really kindred spirit as we share dreams and aspirations to make a difference in the world.  To have this moment was truly something I treasure very much, like a child all excited about the moment.

 People were walking about and some passing by our table. Then suddenly a lady stood at our table obviously trying to express herself.  We were stunned as she stood there for a few seconds before taking the courage to ask me about my caliper.

 She asked, “Is it alright if I ask you about your leg. What is it called?”

I replied, “Sure you can. It is called a caliper”

She then said, “My son wears a plastic cast like and it is giving him blisters. He walks slowly and needs assistance.  I was wondering where you made your caliper.”

I told her, “It is made in XXXXXXXx. Where did you go?”  She showed me the contact and it was the same place. 

 She asked me permission to see my caliper and I showed her how I put a towel to protect my thigh from blisters.

 We invited her to sit with us and chit chat with her. Her  son  is in university aspiring to be a doctor ,and  his physically  challenge because of spina bifida.  She said that he is very strong willed and very intelligent.  She became emotional.  She felt she was not good enough a mother.

 I felt really proud of her and told her, “Kak, you are an inspiration to all mothers because you are a motivator and the pillar of strength to your son. You should be proud of yourself to have a son like him because he is a gift to the world. You have brought him up well. He was given to you by Allah for a reason only HE knows.  Your son definitely is the greatest inspiration and motivation to those around him.  Be proud of yourself Kak,  be proud.”

 She cried as we held hands and chatted about her wonderful son and I shared stories of how some adults who hid themselves from the world because of their shame of their handicap.

 Kak Mumtaz, travels down from Kedah to KL every week to spend time with her son and help him with errands despite him telling her not to trouble herself. She said it was important for her to spend that quality time with him and encourage him because he has difficulty but he never complains.  She told me that it was not easy for a disabled child to enter the university to study medicine.  Her son aspires to be a doctor and I told her that he will be a great doctor because of his passion.  She said it would be very difficult for him to practice here.  Mad and I told her, that nothing is impossible eventhough difficult.  She ought to place her faith in Allah and let Him plan her son’s life mission.

 My life journey is centered in trusting my Creator and have fallen so many times I almost gave up. The calling within is the one that always pushes me to move forward and place myself in His hands.  Today, I can proudly say that He plans everything in HIS Time and not mine.  He has sent many angels into my life and to reach my potential.

 What a fruitful and beautiful day it has been for me. My future is certainly beautiful with my imperfections because through my physical handicap, I am a motivator and an inspiration. It brings joy within me that even money cannot buy.   I am grateful and I am abundantly blessed!

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PRAYER OF ABUNDANCE

let go 3.jpgHave you ever felt in your life where you just cannot find the right prayer some times?   Were there times, you felt you didn’t have any prayer in your mind or heart? Were there moments you were just so overwhelmed with so much of problems and challenges you just don’t know how to pray? What about moments you lose faith that the Universe or God is not on your side you wanted to demand an explanation from Him?

Yes, those were the moments in my life. All my life, I have been taught structured prayers and that those are the prayers to use. As years  went by, with so much of challenges in front of me, I doubted if those prayers were even relevant; it was as though the prayers were not heard at all. It was just empty prayers for me. I wanted something deeper and something more meaningful.

My spiritual journey took me to a very deep experience with my Creator as years went by and when I doubted Him, there would be answers and assurances through angels sent in the form of friends, strangers, homilies and even posters or quotes that would flash in front of my eyes at that point of time.  Amazing ? You bet. Yet, there were times I was so caught up with finding myself, I became blind to His messages.

I was holding on and trying to solve my challenges instead of letting go and empty myself to trust Him. This spiritual awareness slowly became obvious but then, what will happen to the tradition and ways we are supposed to live by? I realized I still can and  at a deeper level because my spiritual relationship with my Creator is deep and profound.

It is so amazing that He has been listening to my search for a deeper relationship and understanding of Him and He has brought me closed to Him through wonderful friends who care to share their lives with me as they themselves have found deep spiritual relationship with God. It is more than just the superficial practice we do every day or every week. A truly spiritual journey with God is one who can

  1.  Understand what it means to let go and let God
  2. What it means to practice unconditional love.
  3. To give of yourself
  4. To share with no expectation
  5. Detachment from things and emotions
  6. Be happy and contented
  7. To give gratitude
  8. Emptying oneself so that one can have Everything

The most important and profound thing I learnt is about just giving gratitude in everything. The only prayer we ever need is just ‘THANK YOU’ to our Creator, for all that we have and for those that we don’t have.I remembered when I was totally empty at point in my life that I felt peace and was filled with that sense of calm and full,  I just kept silent and with felt peace in myself. We all have our own journey and we walk different paths. We all experience spirituality in different ways.

All these years, with all the challenges I faced especially those challenges within me, I have cried out for help to overcome them so I can love and accept ME the Catherine that He created in His Image. As time is not relevant in God’s Time, I found my time is NOW. To Just BE and BEING Catherine is so beautiful and enriching. I found that LOVE of God in Me because My Being is with God and in God. I only need to surrender to empty myself each day for Him to fill it up!

The more, I realise this abundance, the more I receive it and the more I want to give ABUNDANCE. It need not be material things or money; give unconditional love, patience, tolerance, empathy, share knowledge, practice act of kindness in creative and heartful ways. Each day now, I wake up and before I sleep I thank God for His Abundance.

I am truly grateful to my sister in Christ Connie for her spiritual empowerment and my others brothers and sisters of different faiths and life journey who have shared and empowered my life. I know I have also empowered them in my own way.

Whether you believe in God or the Universe or believe nothing, Abundance is there and it is real. Just allow it to come to you and you embrace and send it out to others, more will come to you…

It is difficult and scary sometimes to let go and totally surrender. That’s the challenge of it all. Pray like a little child; trusting and with faith.

My prayer – THANK YOU FOR ABUNDANCE! Even when I feel there is none but deep within I know there is.

If the role is reversed!

As parents, to care for a child from birth to adulthood is no easy task. Changing diapers, feeding, caring for them when they have a fever, bathing them, dressing them, spending those times with them, financially, economically.

Mothers especially, and when fathers play a lesser role in the physical tasks.  Fathers who share those tasks would understand the stress or the joy of caring for a helpless little human.

What if you’re the role has been reversed?  What if you are now caring for your parents; either father or mother or both?  Old and fragile like a baby and requires all the attention your parents gave you as a baby.  Are you doing it or sending them to some elderly home or hiring a nurse to do all the work without you sharing some of the tasks.

I am writing this while both dad and mum are resting after this early morning episode. This is the second episode which both my sister and I were afraid of because the first one we almost lost him. That was last year.

At 3.15 am my mum rang the bell I placed in their room so that she can call us for any emergency. I went to the toilet that time when I heard the bell.   I quickly got my sister and we rushed downstairs and there my father was in the toilet vomiting and he also had diarrhea.  He was throwing out so much of phlegm  and he kept throwing up until nothing was there.  It was painful for him.   My sister being the physical person would help clean him up and I quickly fetched whatever she asked for to discard soiled clothing, etc. I gave him hydration salt water and some warm oats to  fill his empty stomach. The episode went on about 3 times and we fed him after each episode.  It was really tough to see him so weak and yet stubborn, refusing help and to listen to our instruction.  Just like a rebellious little child, but sick and feeling helpless.

He wanted to lie down despite telling him to sit up and rest because the moment he laid down, he would throw up again. That went on until about 5 15 am.  After some gentle coaxing failed, we had to be firm and strict with him which he hated but when I asked him “is it difficult to understand when I ask you to just follow our simple instructions to help you”  He replied,  “Ok, I will follow.”  Of course, he forgot  after that and we reminded him again and again.

After cleaning him up and wherever that was soiled and dirty, we managed to calm his stomach and my partner who is a therapist gave him massages to help his muscles to relax, dad managed to sleep soundly.

I sat down looking at my mum seated at the dining table looking helpless and sad.  I said myself, this role has now been reversed and I cannot imagine how much they have gone through to bring us up. When this role was reversed eversince they started living with us, it taught me so much about myself and how much patience and  sacrifices they made, especially my mother.  My patience was tested when father behaved like a spoilt brat.  Sacrifices, I made, I made that choice even to give up a good career opportunities to be close to them many years ago so it remains as they are my parents.  I have been blessed many times over even with those sacrifices.  Many doors are open when one door is closed.  That is so true till today.

I pray my father to live a little longer so that he can enjoy his life and should he be called home, let him go in peace knowing that we love him.

Our role to be ‘parents’ is our natural duty because they could do it, so can we, as children.  They gave up their dreams, their time, their lives for us. We can do the same.

Money may buy many things and services but it can never replace the time and love spent with them as they have spent their entire lives with us and for us.  Even if they have not, they are still our parents.

My mother used to tell me much later in her life, “whether we eat rice or eat porridge, we are together.  It is not the money, it is the time.”

We are blessed our elderly do not cry because they are neglected or unloved, but they cry because they know they are loved.

Note:  I have to stress that I am not writing this to judge anyone. I am writing to share  my own experience. So, please share your experience (but no judging, thank you).

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Deuteronomy 5:16

‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Proverbs 23:22

Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.

 

The Prison of your mind

A really and truly inspiring man and all that he said is so true in my life too.

Enjoy!

  Advice from an 80 year old man. 

What beautiful Life Lessons these are –
1. Have a firm handshake.
2. Look people in the eye.
3. Sing in the shower.
4. Own a great stereo system.
5. If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
6. Keep secrets.
7. Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday.
8. Always accept an outstretched hand.
9. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
10. Whistle.
11. Avoid sarcastic remarks.
12. Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.
13. Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
14. Lend only those books you never care to see again.
15. Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.
16. When playing games with children, let them win.
17. Give people a second chance, but not a third.
18. Be romantic.
19. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
20. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
21. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for our convenience, not the caller’s.
22. Be a good loser.
23. Be a good winner.
24. Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
25. When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
26. Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
27. Keep it simple.
28. Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
29. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
30. Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets
31. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
32. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
33. Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
34. Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
35. Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.
36. Begin each day with some of your favourite music.
37. Once in a while, take the scenic route.
38. Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
39. Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
40. Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
41. Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
42. Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
43. Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
44. Become someone’s hero.
45. Marry only for love.
46. Count your blessings.
47. Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
48. Wave at the children on a school bus.
49. Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.
50. Don’t expect life to be fair

Source: Pat Divilly

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Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother

I have been absent for a long while now.   This morning, I sat myself down  and quickly pen this down to share my thoughts and feelings with you before I do my other chores.

I love watching CSI’s series. 

Today, a scene in CSI NY  (sorry turned the episode on halfway so did not know the title),  was about one of the CSI staff visiting his aged father in a home.  He wanted his father to remember how abusive he was towards him and kept pushing his father to remember.  He wanted his father to apologise to him and feel  the guilt.  He wanted his father to feel his own anger  of being an abused son.  Unfortunately, his aged father cannot remember.  He was so angry and hurt that his father cannot feel what he wanted him to feel.

Towards the end of the series, his superior spoke with him.  He shared to his superior  how much he wanted his father to feel his pain of being an abused son.  Throughout the conversation with his superior,  what he really wanted was to have his father back; the moment as a young boy whom his dad would take him to the record store to buy records.   He wanted to hurt his father but yet wanted to forgive him but couldn’t.  He wanted to release the pain he was carrying.  His superior said this “you wanted to remember him as a good dad.  You carrying the baggage will make it harder for you to accept him. He is also a victim.”

In the last scene, he reminisces his happy days by sharing a record he loved (his father’s collection with his girlfriend who told him that she is there to journey with him.

I enjoy CSI for many reasons.  There are so many lessons one can learn.  I love lessons like what I have watched today.

My own aged father can be annoying because of his stubbornness.  He argues with all of us even when he cannot remember that he did something but denied it.  He was not always there for me growing up and in certain ways, I felt what that actor felt in the moment.  It is  true for me, that I wish I had the father who would dote on me when I was 4 years old.  He would take me around on his bike and spend so much time with me when he could.  He was not abusive but avoid confrontation when there was any at home. 

On the other hand, I see him a fragile man getting older by the day and living his 2nd childhood except that physically he is an adult.  I am thankful today, I am reminded that my father was also a victim of circumstances and he did his best he knew how then.  He was who he was.

I am thankful he is still around and able to be with me and for me to care for  him together with my aged mum too.  I will do my best to provide and care for them with God’s grace. Yes, I have to sacrifice certain freedom and also postpone things I want to do for myself.  I know God has better plans for me and I trust Him to live my life.

4th Commandment –  Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

— Exodus 20:12 

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A Fruitful Day

Today has been a very productive and fulfilling day. Not only have I filled my tummy with delicious local fare but also filled my spirit with positivity.

It is a challenge to plan to meet up with friends or go places or just to have fun because every weekend is filled with tasks, errands, calls for assistance, etc.  I have put aside many things I want to do for myself.    I also feel guilty when I do not stay home to spend time or even be there physically for my aged parents every weekend.  Almost every Saturday and Sunday is filled with activities outside.

I finally decided to take my shoes to my shoemaker in the city for repairs.  At the same time, meet up with a good friend to visit and also go on a food spree.  Talk about killing more than 2 birds with one stone.   With half the day to spend, I could say that those hours were fulfilling and filled with motivation.

It was important for me to have at least one motivation or to make a difference to someone or even learn something from someone. I had all of them today.

When I went to my shoe maker, she was wearing a face mask and a cap and I knew what she was going through.  We chatted about her condition and she is still going through chemotherapy.  She is optimistic and living as every other day.  I pray she would recover and need not go through the series of chemo.

Then I met a wonderful 73 year old widow, Cynthia (I wrote about her in my Facebook page),  who was cleaning tables making sure walk in customers have clean tables to enjoy their meals.  She would greet everyone and smile.  I greeted her and got to know her .  She really inspired me with her pleasant and cheerful personality.  She has good work ethics and she enjoyed what she was doing.  Walking around, making sure all the tables were clean and trays put away, despite having rheumatoid arthritis.  She continued to work because she wanted to keep herself busy.  She lost her husband a year ago.  She has 3 sons and 5  grandchildren (I believe).  All doing very well.  She did not want to trouble them and wanted to be independent.

She told me to keep smiling because I bring sunlight to people who see me smile.  I think that was so beautiful.  A stranger who gave me ‘silver boxes’ like that.  This affirmation made a difference to me.  It has been a long time, since someone said that to me; or I have not been smiling that much.

Cynthia

Then meeting up with my good friend and going on an eating spree was something I have not done for a while.  It was fun.  We had small portions of many different types of food where she lived.  It was fun.  The roasted duck, meatball soup, braised pork, coffee from another state, shaved ice with fruits, watercress in sugar water….

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Wanted to have our King of all fruits – Durian, to end our spree but we could not find any.

We stopped by a little truck selling roasted pork and had a good chat with the boss.  He is young and handsome.  Jeremy is his name.  He said that when he has extras and bits and pieces,  he would give away to homes. It was good and my friend gave her number to him so that he can call (hopefully) to give her so that she can share them with poor communities that she knows. What a great day to meet like-minded people.

It was truly a day of pure fun and hanging out with good company.

Dinner was done for the day with so much calories during lunch.  Still I took my parents out for  dinner and hang with them

Overall, today was a good day and I can remember what I did. Usually I would run around like crazy and forget what I had done for the day.  There is so much to tell about today but my brain can only remind me so much for now.  Tired I guess!

Thank God for an inspiring and fun day!  How was yours?